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Comedian Paula Poundstone Arraigned on Abuse Charges

Aired July 3, 2001 - 12:22   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: The arraignment for comedian Paula Poundstone has just ended, in Santa Monica, California.

Our Sherri Sylvester was inside the courtroom as that proceeding took place -- Sherri.

SHERRI SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Daryn, I actually just left the courtroom, so I'm going to have to read from my notes a little bit.

Paula Poundstone did enter a not guilty plea on all of the felony charges against her. Again, she's charged with lewd connect against a child under the age of 14 and with child endangerment, involving four other children -- not guilty on those.

The judge did a couple of interesting things. Roberta Kyman issued two protective orders that extend through August 13, and those protective orders said that Paula Poundstone is to have no contact with the named individuals, no contact whatsoever -- no phone contact. She is not allowed to harass, stalk, or sexually assault these people that were named, and she's not to try to dissuade any alleged victims from testifying in court or giving their testimony in terms of an investigation.

They added an addendum also to this, and they said that Paula Poundstone is also not to be present in front of any minors whatsoever without adult supervisor or a guardian on hand. That includes all minors, anyone under the age of 18. The other two that I said, the other orders, were complete stay-away orders.

They did set a preliminary hearing for the end of month, July 30. Again, Paula Poundstone has been released on $200,000 bail. That will stay in effect. The orders go through August 13.

That is just about what we learned today. They went through the preliminaries of setting up their dates and establishing a time trial for this case.

Again, her attorneys want to a advance the case as quickly as possible, to get out the details so that they can go about, in their words, clearing her name.

No details were given in terms of how this case was formed or what was the basis for these claims, because the prosecutors didn't actually speak and address that.

Paula Poundstone was very soft spoken in court. She was very emotional at times. Her attorney put his arm around her. She seemed to hang onto him. Prior to the proceedings, she was huddled with her attorney. Her was taking quite a number of notes off to the side. She would, at times, be very emotional and teary eyed, and at other times, they would kind of joke around a little bit while we were waiting. She would laugh occasionally. She was wearing her trademark neck tie and her bright green suit. A very emotional day for her.

As we said earlier, when she came in, there were about a dozen supporter of Paula Poundstone. They greeted her and carried signs to show their support. She went up and hugged many of them individually and spoke with them. She also broke into tears out front here, prior to the arraignment, when asked about her supporters that may know statements. We do not expect her to make a statement on the way out.

We believe, actually, she is leaving right now, and if Stephanie (ph) can pan over, we'll get a shot of her as she departs the courthouse.

KAGAN: So Sherri, as we watch this picture -- and if she does step up to the microphones...

SYLVESTER: This is actually.

KAGAN: Do you see her?

SYLVESTER: Daryn, this is the prosecutor. This is actually the prosecutor stepping up to the microphone.

KAGAN: Let's listen in to the prosecutor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down in front.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Down in front, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell us your name, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell us your name, please.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell us your name, please.

GINA SATRIANO, DEPUTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY: My name the Gina Satriano.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can you spell that?

SATRIANO: S-A-T-R-I-A-N-O. First name, G-I-N-A. My title it deputy district attorney.

QUESTION: Gina, what can you tell us about who the accusers are and how this whole thing came about?

SATRIANO: There's a court order presently not to release any of the documentation supporting the arrest warrant in the case, so I cannot discuss the facts of this case at this time.

(CROSSTALK)

SATRIANO: The charges are three counts of lewd acts upon a child, against a single female victim under the age of 14 years, which would involve the elements of the offense or any type of touching of a child under the age of 14 years for a sexual purpose. The fourth count is a charge of child endangerment involving four minor children. All of those children are charged in the same fourth count, and all four counts are felonies.

QUESTION: What can you tell us about the protective orders and who they apply to?

SATRIANO: The protective orders that the judge signed today apply to the named minors that are in the complaints as well as any minors that Ms. Poundstone might come in contact with while this case is pending.

KAGAN: We're listening to the prosecutor, Gina Santriano, on the charges against comedian Paula Poundstone. The charges are three counts of a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14. The only information is that it's a female child involved here. Also, one count of child endangerment that involves four minor children.

More information to come out on that just ahead. Thanks to our Sherri Sylvester for covering that story for us, in Santa Monica.

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